Taxi drivers in the Czech Republic are to stage a protest against ride-hailing apps like Uber and Taxify starting 10am tomorrow.
It’s a familiar story for cabbies all across the world as the drivers plan to block roads to highlight unfair competition from drivers who do not have to obtain licenses to operate like a taxi.
It is expected that 6,000 drivers will participate in the demonstration and with action stretching out over several days.
Both major taxi associations will support the protest; the Association of Czech Taxi Drivers (SČT) and the Association of Taxi Concessionaires (AKT) respectively.
Last year in the Czech Republic, the Transport Ministry did confirm that it was to amend the Road Transport Act to include legal framework around tech based booking services. It was thought that the changes would bring in fair and equal working conditions for both taxis and app companies to compete under.
However, their ministry are yet to propose any changes.
TaxiPoint spoke to AKT board member Karolína Venclová who said:
“As of 8th February 2018, licensed taxi carriers will hold a protest against UBER, TAXIFY, and how they operate, with thousands of illegal drivers organising illegal activities in our country. This protest is a result of the four-year passivity of our governments in the fight against illicit activities that ignored the safety of the public, or because of the sophisticated price algorithm used and price discrimination occurs.
“At the same time, government officials have seen the utter destruction of competition and compliance with legal norms among entrepreneurs, and this has created a precedent for other sectors, as a violation of rules can gain a large part of the market without owning a single means of production or creating jobs.
“For example, Uber, which has no seat here and its drivers are not taxing here, publicly admits that in most countries their drivers are operating in accordance with legislation, with a few exceptions like the Czech Republic! and is not going to change it anyway. Therefore, it is up to our government to immediately intervene with the help of the ministries and to prevent the functioning of such companies in our market by the time of their correction.
“The pressure group consists of more than 6,000 taxi drivers who have been directly injured by the unlawful conduct of these companies and their drivers for four years.
“We firmly hoped that the EU SD judgment of 20 December 2017 would force these companies to make immediate correction and start acting according to legal standards. However, this did not happen and these companies do not respond to the challenges of other competitors or state administration.
“If the government does not take immediate action to address this issue immediately, protests will continue unabated.”
Karolína Venclová also told readers of TaxiPoint in the UK “We’re in this together”